Officials to Revamp Bylaws

With the arrival of SRPEDD’s preliminary review of Mattapoisett’s Bylaw document, the Board will begin a series of meetings and hearings to scope out a completely revised document. Sandy Conaty, Comprehensive Planning Manager with SRPEDD, presented the board with her preliminary outline of areas in the bylaws that need rewriting, clarifications, and formatting changes. The following represents Conaty’s recommendations:

Use of tables to bring clarity to uses permitted, permitted by special permit and uses prohibited; restructuring of Articles to group like items versus interspersed throughout the document; Parking section modified to create smaller spaces and less impervious areas and parking could be incorporated into Site Plan Review; Sign Codes need to comply with the first amendment, must be content neutral and cannot contain discriminatory language; windpower generation could be different to address residential mills versus large-scale systems; cluster subdivision, Mattapoisett may want a variety of housing types for all income levels and to meet the housing needs identified in the Housing Production Plans and the Master Plan; Site Plan Review needs to be reorganized – layout is confusing; special residential development, Conaty recommends Town Counsel determination if the bylaw conflicts with a specific court decision (Wall Street Development vs. Planning board of Westwood), the court determined that the bylaw gave the board the ability to den a special permit for a major residential development form of subdivision that had complied with subdivision control law; Family-related apartment seemed too restrictive and negatively written in Conaty’s preview and perhaps was designed to discourage the creation of these units, she suggested that accessory units would help to address housing needs of residents identified in the Housing Production Plan and the Master Plan.

She further explained that through streamlining and re-formatting the bylaws they would become more user friendly, less cumbersome, and therefore efficient for all concerned.

After her presentation, the Board discussed the best way to go about reviewing the bylaws, scheduling meetings and allowing for public input and hearings moving forward. To start the process, they decided to review several articles over the course of the coming months leading up to the December deadline for completion, starting on October 7 with Parking and Signage.

Board Member Ron Merlo once again impressed on those in attendance and those viewing at home the importance of completing the open space survey still available at; presently 63 residents only have done so. He said that the community’s feedback via the survey would be beneficial in establishing what the residents’ preferences are for open space use and zoning.

Also coming before the board was Attorney Jay Williams representing Brandt Island Realty Trust/Brandt Point Village development seeking permission and release of lots so that an asphalt topcoat could be applied to the road that is currently incomplete. After several paperwork issues were cleared up, Barry Denham, Highway Supervisor, was invited to give his review of the project. It quickly became apparent that there were problems with the road.

As Built Plans have never been received in spite of several requests over an extended period of time having been requested by Denham. In the absence of those plans, he has no way of insuring that the drainage system has been installed in the correct locations and at the proper elevations. He said, “The drainage isn’t working properly and families are living there.” Denham also noted that in several locations, the road in failing and produced photos as evidence. He said that as far back as May 2010 he had been trying to work with the contractor so that construction inspections could take place, but to no avail. “If the top coat is put down, that will fail too,” he told the board.

Williams said that he needed a list of all the unresolved issues so that he could work through them with the contractor and with Brandt Island Realty. The Board will provide Williams with a list, and he will ensure the work is completed and return at a later date to provide verification.

By Marilou Newell


Leave A Comment...